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As the theme for this month is on landscape photography, I thought I would share three fun ways to add features to your landscape images that already come embedded in Photoshop as presets. Let’s take a look at the first one.
Open an image that you want to add the rainbow to. Click on the Gradient tool, then click on the Gradient box in the Options bar to bring up the Gradient Editor dialog box.
Click on the gear icon at the top right corner of the Presets section and another pop-up menu appears. Choose Special Effects near the bottom of the list. When you click on it, a dialog box appears asking you to replace the current default gradients with the ones that you are loading. Click Ok. It contains only five presets, the last one being Russell’s rainbow is the one I’m going to use. Click ok, then go back up to the Options bar and click on Radial Gradient.
Make sure you have a new layer over the image that you are using. Start at the bottom of the image and drag upwards at a 45 degree angle and release. Depending on the size of the rainbow that you want, you can press CMD Z to undo and restart again (see image below). At first, it looks way too extreme and unrealistic, but using the free transform tool (CMD+T), resize and rotate and place it into position.
Change the layer blend mode to Screen. You can see the rainbow appears behind and in front of the clouds. Add a layer mask and with a big soft brush, soften the end of the rainbow where it hits the ground. I also converted the layer to a Smart Object and applied a Gaussian Blur. I then Lowered the Fill and Opacity to get an almost translucent effect. Voila, a real simple but effective rainbow.
Rainbows happen when sunlight and rain combine in a very specific way. And this brings me to the next preset…
This particular preset is not as effective as the other two. I think a custom rain brush would be better, nevertheless, it does an okay job.
Depending on the image that you use, it is better to have an image with clouds rather than a clear blue sky. I desaturated this image by using a hue/saturation adjustment layer and I also added a vignette to give it more drama.
If you go up to Window in the menu bar and open up the Styles panel, or the Adjustments panel has a Styles tab to its right. Over to the far right corner is an arrow, click on this icon and a pop out menu appears. Choose Image Effects from near the bottom. Similar to the Gradient Editor, a dialog box appears asking you to, “Replace current styles with the styles from Image Effects?” Click Ok. The Rain style is down near the bottom.
But first, create a new layer over the image that you have opened. Name this layer, Background rain. Fill it with 50% gray. Now click on the rain style. It creates a Pattern Overlay. At first, you just see small white diagonal slashes against a gray background. Change the blend mode to Screen. Then click anywhere to the right of this gray layer to bring up the Blending Options Layer Style dialog box. All you need to do here is bring the Fill opacity under Advanced Blending down to zero. Click Ok. Now you see just the the rain, the gray color is gone.
You need to alter the size of the rain, it needs to be smaller as if it’s in the background. Double-click just underneath the layer where it says Effects>Pattern Overlay, this brings up the Pattern Overlay Layer Style dialog box. As you move the scale slider to the right or left, you can see the rain increasing or decreasing in size. I chose 207% and reduced the opacity to 52%. Click Ok. I added a layer mask, and with gradient tool, I masked away the rain at the bottom (you can equally use a soft brush to mask instead). I reduced the Opacity on this layer to 85%.
I created another layer and named this Foreground rain. I repeated the same steps as above but I changed the scale of the rain. I wanted the rain to appear bigger. So again double click on the Effects>Pattern Overlay to open the Pattern Overlay Layer Style dialog box. Increase the scale to 478% and reduce the opacity to 41%. Click Ok. I then reduced the Opacity on this layer to 65%. This gives the rain a bit more depth and adds a more realistic effect.
Now for the third effect. This is a really quick and easy way to turn a photo from day into night with a preset already in Photoshop (CS6). Go up to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Color Lookup. Where it says 3DLUT File, click on the tab beside it and a pop-up menu with different effects appears, scroll down to Moonlight.3DL. These presets are known as lookup tables, or LUTs, they’re mainly found in the film industry.
For added effect, I’m going to add a moon. Create a new layer, Go to your eclipse tool and hold down the Shift key and draw a circle, roughly 200px. Fill it with white. Deselect (CMD+D). Go up to Filter>Filter Gallery>Artistic>Sponge. Choose the Brush tool set to: Size 7, Definition 3 and Smoothness 5. Click Ok. Move the moon near the top of the tree. I reduced the size a little by using the Free Transform Tool (CMD+T). Change the blend mode to overlay. Duplicate this layer and reduce the Opacity to 55%. See image below.
I hope you enjoyed these fun and quick techniques using these presets found in Photoshop. Do you use presets or other plugins? Please share in the comments below.